Member for Morwell Russell Northe has used the opening of the Victorian Parliament today, to question the Government regarding the removal of valuable Fire Rescue Victoria (FRV) dry-cleaning contracts to local suppliers.
“I was devastated to be contacted by local businesses lamenting that dry-cleaning services have suddenly ceased to be locally delivered, for FRV’s personnel based at three Latrobe Valley fire-stations” Mr Northe began.
Local Latrobe Valley businesses have been regularly providing dry cleaning services to the integrated FRV Traralgon Morwell and Latrobe West stations for countless years– which during the current COVID-19 pandemic, greatly increased their chance of survival with other income sources severely limited.
“For a local business to receive a letter in the days leading up to Christmas, indicating that their services would not be required, as of 1 January 2021 is disgraceful” Mr Northe exclaimed.
“This vital ongoing work has now been moved to a Melbourne based business which makes no logical sense and one can only assume that the Latrobe Valley is not the only regional area of Victoria whereby local services have been cut” Mr Northe said.
“I’m certain that local FRV personnel would want to continue to use local businesses where possible, so I call upon the Minister to get to the bottom of how this decision was arrived at and then fix it” Mr Northe continued.
“Country businesses deserve fair treatment, which I’m disappointed to see that they have not been treated with respect at all. That’s why today in Parliament, I urged the Government and the Minister to reverse this ridiculous decision and to seek a commitment that the provision of other local goods and services would not also be cut when it comes to our FRV and CFA emergency service personnel and our local fire stations” Mr Northe said.
“Unfortunately, the Ministers answer gave no comfort that this decision will be reversed which is not good news for regional and Latrobe Valley based businesses” Mr Northe concluded.